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Posts Tagged ‘valentine’s day recipes’

Birch & Barley’s Tiffany + Kyle: Where There’s Heat in the Kitchen


To get ready for Valentine’s Day, we asked some husband-wife chef and restaurant management duos to share their romantic stories: how they met, what they like to cook to celebrate the holiday and whether their restaurants go all out in the name of love.

Written by Tiffany MacIsaac, Executive Pastry Chef of the Washington D.C.-based Neighborhood Restaurant Group. Her husband, Kyle Bailey, is the Executive Chef of Birch & Barley, one of NRG’s popular restaurants featuring a seasonally inspired menu and an extensive (read: 500+) list of beers.

Kyle and I met at the since-shuttered Ilo, a three-star restaurant located in a NYC hotel. At the time we were both in relationships, but we became fast friends. One night a week, Kyle would need to stay to work the room service shift after dinner. No one ever ordered, though, so we would get a pack of beer from the corner store and drink it while we waited. A closing restaurant can be a depressing environment to work in, but we always worked hard and pushed one another. After the restaurant closed, we went our separate ways, but we stayed in touch. When Kyle was working at another restaurant, Cru, he recommended me for a pastry chef position (even though his girlfriend at the time was a pastry chef) and the rest is history.

Being married (going on 3.5 years now) and working together presents its challenges, but we overcome these by being very communicative. (Kyle likens us to Dr. Dre and Eminem: “We fight nonstop, but we get along better than anyone else.”) We’re incredibly honest with each other in the kitchen and never hold back on giving feedback about a certain dish – we’re both striving for greatness.

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The Mikulas: Nurturing Love — and Diverse Passions — at NYC’s Salinas


To get ready for Valentine’s Day, we asked some husband-wife chef and restaurant management duos to share their romantic stories: how they met, what they like to cook to celebrate the holiday and whether their restaurants go all out in the name of love.

Written by Mary Catherine Mikula, a partner behind NYC’s Salinas restaurant, along with her husband, Donald Mikula, and Nicolas Matar. Inspired by their extensive travels along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, they opened this Spanish tapas restaurant in 2011 with chef Luis A Bollo at the helm.

Donald and I met while on a photo shoot for Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. He has been a celebrity hairstylist for 25 years; by the time I returned to New York from the trip, he had left a message with my agent insisting I come in to his salon for a haircut. I obliged, and the rest is history.

Together, we bring our diverse backgrounds and passions to Salinas – an unusual formula that works well for the restaurant, we think. Everyone calls Donald “the captain” – he makes the restaurant livelier by engaging guests in conversation and forming personal connections, and adorns the walls with photos he’s taken during our travels. And I am known as “mama bear;” I like to make sure all is well with the staff, handle all the office tasks – scheduling, reservations – and create a new playlist for the restaurant every day.

Before Salinas, we rarely went out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. We could never find a spot that felt romantic and cozy (or well-lit – a major pet-peeve of mine), and so we (and by we, I mean Donald) would cook. Ironically, one dish we loved to prepare was paella – and this was years before we opened the restaurant. We would open up a bottle of wine and share some Manchengo cheese while cooking.

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Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine’s Day Desserts


Chocolate Souffles by Handle the Heat
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Handle the Heat’s recipe for chocolate soufflés is perfectly portioned for just you and your valentine.
  2. Sucree’s chocolate truffle cake with salted caramel is the epitome of romantic desserts.
  3. To spice things up, make Olives For Dinner’s whiskey sriracha candies. They’re not for the faint of heart.
  4. Milk and Honey’s cookies and cream truffle cookie bars are deliciously rich treats that will make everyone happy.
  5. Pastry Affairs’ pomegranate white wine panna cotta is a “flirtatious little dessert” that is sure to impress.

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Jenn Louis: Portland’s Thoughful Eats and Beverage Pairings


To get ready for Valentine’s Day, we asked some husband-wife chef and restaurant management duos to share their romantic stories: how they met, what they like to cook to celebrate the holiday and whether their restaurants go all out in the name of love.

Written by Jenn Louis, the chef behind two popular Portland establishments, Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern. She co-owns the restaurants — which feature rustic, yet refined menus of Pacific Northwest ingredients — with her husband, the restaurants’ bar manager and beverage mastermind, David Welch.

David and I met while working at a restaurant – go figure. I had worked at Portland-based Wildwood for almost two years after graduating from the Western Culinary Institute of Portland and was finishing a Sunday brunch shift. I was very tired, having worked the Saturday night dinner service the night before. In walks a handsome man, sporting black high-water pants, a white t-shirt, a red v-neck cardigan sweater, chunky black shoes and tiny spectacles. I looked up and thought, “who the heck is this Mr. Rogers?” Really, it was love at first sight. We were married in 2003, and in 2008, David and I transformed a renovated warehouse into our first restaurant: Lincoln. In 2011 we opened Sunshine Tavern, where we offer family-friendly comfort food and playful cocktails.

We have always worked in the service industry, so our Valentine’s Day is spent at work. It is a long and a busy day, so I usually prepare something for the prep staff to eat (sticky buns, creamy macaroni and cheese) and then either he or I will sneak off to a little shop where they sell our favorite candy: dark chocolate bars filled with salted caramel. We usually enjoy that at the end of the day – a reward for a hard day’s work. This year, Sunshine is offering its normal menu, and Lincoln Restaurant will have a prix fixe menu featuring options for appetizer and entree (from a foie gras and chicken liver pate to to a cassoulet of lamb sausage, rabbit confit and roasted pork belly), panna cotta with Campari gelato for dessert and optional wine pairings for each course.

David’s and my ideal Valentine’s Day dinner (which is usually delayed until the next weekend!) is a Berlioni cocktail with a kale and grapefruit salad, a rabbit and pork polpetone with polenta taragana (recipes after the jump) with a bottle of 2011 Vietti Barbara d’Asit, and for dessert, one of those chocolate and salted-caramel bars with homemade nocino.

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Rice Krispies Treats Go Compost for Valentine’s Day

The “compost” cookie at Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC inspired these crispy rice treats. They have everything but the kitchen sink in them: pretzels, Oreos, milk chocolate and potato chips. These are all added to the rice cereal and tossed with buttery marshmallows, and it’s seriously tasty. You can add any of your favorite snack foods to the recipe. Just chop them up so you can press the treats into a heart shaped cookie cutter. They are perfect to make with kids but, really, adults love them just as much.

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Brookville’s Harrison Keevil: A Sweet and Surprise-Filled Valentine’s Day


To get ready for Valentine’s Day, we asked some husband-wife chef and restaurant management duos to share their romantic stories: how they met, what they like to cook to celebrate the holiday and whether their restaurants go all out in the name of love.

Written by Harrison Keevil. He and his wife, Jennifer Keevil, are the chefs and co-owners of Charlotsville, VA-based Brookville, a 60-seat restaurant serving New American cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients.

I met Jennifer while working as a line cook; Jennifer was my expeditor at the restaurant. Our relationship blossomed and I went on to open Brookville in July 2010 with Jennifer as co-owner and front-of-house manager. We got married in 2011, and on Dec 31, 2012 we welcomed our first child, a beautiful baby girl named Caroline, into the world. Valentine’s Day is ordinarily a really special holiday for the two of us, but this year it will be even sweeter as we get to celebrate with Caroline – the most wonderful thing in our lives right now.

We really like to go all out on Valentine’s Day and shower each other with love. The day before, I go to the local florist called Hedge. They are amazingly thoughtful when designing an arrangement, so I trust them to make a florist’s choice bouquet (but it has to have Day Lilies and a pastel theme – Jennifer’s  favorites). I love to have the bouquet sitting on the table when Jennifer wakes up because I get to see the surprised look on her face. I also go to Albemarle Baking Company and buy a heart-shaped linzer tart, a heart-shaped chocolate-glazed chocolate brownie and a mini princess cake (which is a vanilla cake with marzipan fondant). My intent is for her to enjoy them throughout the day, but with my help, they are usually finished before noon! (This year I may have to double up!)

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Recette’s Jesse Schenker: Serving Up Gourmet Romance

To get ready for Valentine’s Day, we asked some husband-wife chef and restaurant management duos to share their romantic stories: how they met, what they like to cook to celebrate the holiday and whether their restaurants go all out in the name of love.

Written by Jesse Schenker, Chef and Owner of NYC’s Recette. His wife Lindsay Schenker is the restaurant’s Director of Operations. Together they run this urban, contemporary American restaurant where progressive techniques are married with traditional flavors.

Lindsay and I met at Coral Springs Middle School in South Florida when we were in 8th grade. We were in different classes but had a mutual family friend; I didn’t know it at the time, but she had a pretty big crush on me. When we were in 9th grade, I became very interested in her, but things didn’t quite work out. The same thing happened again in 10th grade – and I didn’t hear from her for 10 years. I always thought about her as the one that got away.

In May of 2008, Lindsay sent me a MySpace message after she read an article about Recette Private Dinning. I responded immediately and, well, the rest is history. A few months later , she moved from San Francisco to New York and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

We’re really busy at Recette for Valentine’s Day. We will be serving a 5-course tasting menu featuring oysters, caviar and champagne, ending with a decadent chocolate dessert, and accompanied by John Coltrane playing throughout the restaurant. One year, we had a man propose during the meal. The woman he was with started screaming out of excitement. Everyone in the restaurant was buzzing, especially when he got down on one knee! It was very cute.

As for my valentine, Lindsay, I will make her favorite dish for her after service: fresh cut spaghetti with sweet shrimp, stewed tomato, chili and sea urchin (recipe below), paired with a Burgundy to make her extra happy. She doesn’t cook, but I love her homemade cards every year.

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Candy is Dandy, but Liquor is Quicker: Homemade Valentine’s Day Liqueur

For a holiday that’s all about romance, Valentine’s Day sure stacks the deck against would-be lovers. On no day is there greater pressure to have a memorable night with someone special, yet what are the available weapons in your arsenal of love? Uninspired prix-fixe menus, wildly marked up bottles of bubbly and bouquets of flowers and truly some of the worst candy confectioners have ever inflicted upon our collective palates. For example, conversation hearts taste like sugar, chalk and, sometimes, cough syrup. (Yet do you think I can stop eating them? Of course not.) And heaven help you if you invest in one of those heart-shaped boxes of “chocolates.” There is no surer way to nip a budding relationship.

I’m not saying you won’t score some points with a prospective paramour by presenting gaudy offerings and doing some kind of courtship dance like a bird in the wild. I’m just saying that sometimes it’s best to just cut to the chase. When it comes to modern love, as the saying goes, candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

I confess there is one V-Day candy I enjoy. Imperial Hearts are just Red Hots made into little heart shapes, and yet they somehow taste different, better. Perhaps it’s because they are a metaphor for the day. Romance should be sweet, of course, but the heat of passion rescues it from being insipid. And made into a sweet-spicy liqueur, well, be still my beating heart.

A dribble of this lurid liqueur will turn even the cheapest sparkling wine into an absolute aphrodisiac.

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Mini Chocolate-Raspberry Cakes for Valentine’s Day

Roses are red, chocolate is divine and hearts are pure romance; all the essentials to the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. These little gems are Devil’s food layers filled with raspberry cream and covered in glossy chocolate ganache.

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Anti-Valentine’s Day: Nadia G. Plans a Girls’ Night In

Did you just suffer a nasty break-up? Are you down on love? Or perhaps you just can’t stand all those red hearts and flowers? Nadia G. — the fiercest chef around — has the perfect anti-Valentine’s Day plan for those dodging Cupid’s arrows: a girls’ night in, complete with tasty eats. Save your formal wear for another fest; this pajama poker party is all about comfy and cool.

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